Libya's coast guard intercepts 31 Europe-bound migrants

Libya's coast guard says it has intercepted around three dozen Europe-bound migrants off the country's Mediterranean coast

CAIRO -- Libya's coast guard says it has intercepted around three dozen Europe-bound migrants off the country's Mediterranean coast.

Tuesday's statement by spokesman Ayoub Gassim says the rubber boat with 31 African migrants was stopped on Sunday off the western city of Sabratha.

Sabratha is one of the biggest launching points for migrants making the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean Sea.

Gassim says the migrants were taken to a detention center in the western town of Zawiya.

He also said the coast guard arrested 15 Tunisian fishermen allegedly for illegal fishing in Libya's waters. There was no immediate comment from Tunisia's authorities.

Libya slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed Moammar Gadhafi. It has emerged as a major transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty to Europe.